On April 7, 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an emergency “Worker Protection Order” to protect workers in "essential businesses" which are exempt from state and local stay-at-home orders, such as employees working in grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, banks, hotels and transportation or ride-sharing services.

Effective this Friday, April 10, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. , and continuing until the Mayor declares "the end of the local emergency period," the Order mandates that employees in essential businesses must wear non-medical-grade cloth or fabric face coverings – such as scarves or bandannas -- over their noses and mouths while working to prevent exposure to respiratory droplets containing the COVID-19 virus. The order requires that reusable face coverings must be washed at least once a day, and disposable face coverings must be properly discarded in trash receptacles. The Order also encourages, but does not at this time require, retail business to install plexiglass to separate cashiers from customers.

Under the order, employers are required to either provide the required face coverings or reimburse employees for them. The City has established a website at coronavirus.lacity.org/laprotects through which employers and individuals can connect to over 800 local garment manufacturers from which they can order face coverings.

The Order also requires customers patronizing essential businesses to wear such face coverings over their noses and mouths, and businesses have the right to deny entry or service to any customer not wearing one.

The Order further mandates that employers must provide employees access to clean and sanitary restrooms on site, stocked with all necessary cleansing products required (i.e., soap and paper towels) to observe the hand sanitation protocols recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health [see http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/handwash.htm ). Additionally, employers must provide employees with additional break time sufficient to enable employees to wash their hands at least every 30 minutes and must implement social distancing measures for customers, visitors and employees that provide, to the extent possible, a six-foot buffer between individuals.
Failure to comply with the Order constitutes a misdemeanor subject to fines and imprisonment.

If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at 818-508-3700 or visit us online at   www.brgslaw.com  .
Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Phil Reznik
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP